The XIVth Dalai Lama

© 1997 Denise Wong
His Holiness, the XIVth Dalai Lama, the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, was born on the 6th July 1935, in a small village in north-eastern Tibet called Tengster [101E12, 36N32], at 11:45am SST. He was named Lhamo Thondup (which translates as 'Wish-Fulfilling Goddess'). Born to a peasant family, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the XIIIth Dalai Lama.

The word Dalai is a Mongolian word meaning ocean in Tibet. Lama is a Tibetan term corresponding to the Indian guru which denotes a teacher. Dalai Lama is loosely translated as 'ocean of wisdom'. The Dalai Lamas, spiritual and temporal rulers of Tibet since the 13th century, are a succession of incarnations. A Dalai Lama is not appointed or elected; he is born to the position. Each Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of the previous one. [It has been noted that in some cases before a Dalai Lama dies, he leaves signs to indicate where he will take his next rebirth].

In 1935, the Regent of Tibet went to the sacred lake of Lhamo where he had visions of where to search for the XIVth Dalai Lama. The secret visions included many signs, among them a monastery with roofs of jade green and gold, and a house with turquoise tiles. Lama Kewtsang Rinpoche of the Sera Monastery was put in charge of a search party. They found a place which matched the description of the secret vision seen in the waters; the place was called Amdo. Lama Kewtsang disguised himself as a servant, and wore a mala that had belonged to the XIIIth Dalai Lama.

The search party found the house with turquoise tiles and asked to meet the special little boy. Immediately, upon seeing the mala, the little boy recognized it and asked that it be given to him. Kewtsang promised to give him the mala if he could guess who he was, which he did so correctly. Then the boy was put through a series of tests that included identifying various articles that had belonged to the XIIIth Dalai Lama. All other signs of the secret vision also fitted perfectly, and the search party was convinced they had found the reincarnation of the XIIIth Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama's education as a Buddhist monk began in earnest when he was six. After eighteen years of intense study, he graduated with the equivalent of a Ph.D in Buddhist metaphysics. It was granted after a three-month oral examination in public before thousands of monks and scholars.

On November 17, 1950, His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power (head of the State and Government) after some 80,000 Peoples' Liberation Army invaded Tibet. In 1954, he went to Beijing to talk peace with Mao Tse-tung and other Chinese leaders including Deng Xiaoping.

His efforts to bring about a peaceful solution to Sino-Tibetan conflict were in vain because of ruthless Beijing policy in Eastern Tibet that ignited a popular uprising and resistance. This resistance movement spread to other parts of the country. On 10 March 1959 the capital of Tibet, Lhasa exploded with the largest demonstration calling on China to leave Tibet and reaffirming Tibet's independence. The Tibetan National Uprising was brutally crushed by the Chinese Army. His Holiness escaped to India on the 31st of March 1959, where he was given political asylum. Some 80,000 Tibetan refugees followed him into exile. Today there are more than 120,000 Tibetans in exile. Since 1960, he has resided in Dharamsala, India, known as "Little Lhasa, the seat of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile.


The Dalai Lama describes himself as "A simple Buddhist monk, no more, no less." He follows the life of a Buddhist monk. Living in a small cottage in Dharamsala, he rises at 4:00am to meditate, pursues an ongoing schedule of administrative meetings, private audiences and religious teachings and ceremonies. He concludes each day with further prayer before retiring. In explaining his greatest source of inspiration, he often cites a favorite verse, found in the writings of the renowned eighth century Buddhist saint, Shantideva:

For as long as space endures

And for as long as living beings remain

Until then may I too abide

To dispel the misery of the world

Message on his first visit to the West in 1973

"You should respect other religions...the essence of all religions is basically the same: to achieve a true sense of brotherhood, a good heart, respect for others. If we can develop these qualities from within our heart, then I think we can actually achieve true peace".

The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, awarding the prize to The XIVth Dalai Lama, said: "The committee wants to emphasize the fact that The Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."

On accepting the Nobel Peace Prize he remarked: "The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage, and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated. Our struggle must remain non-violent and free of hatred."

Delineation of the Dalai Lama's chart:

The Sun in Cancer indicates a person with a rich emotional life, a contemplative and receptive nature, and a sensitivity to the needs of others. He is diplomatic, modest and unpretentious, and possessive of a sense of personal history and ancestry. In the 10th House, the Sun indicates the potential to establish a high professional profile, and to become well known and famous.

By aspect, he has the feeling of love coupled to personal charm (Sun semi-square Venus); a religious outlook, philosophical inclinations and wisdom, with the opportunity to travel (Sun trine Jupiter); he is able to assume responsibility and is conscientious in his duties and personal disciplines (Sun trine Saturn).

By midpoint, he is a visionary or idealist, prone to high expectations, and given to compassionate and humanitarian inclinations (Sun = Jupiter/Neptune); he has a peace-loving nature and is easily happy and contented (Sun = Moon/Jupiter).

The Moon in Virgo suggests that practical considerations dominate the inclinations of the heart, and that he appreciates emotional and domestic simplicity. The Moon in the 12th indicates his link with the past (his previous incarnations), and the longing he must have felt for his mother as a child in the monastery.

By aspect, the Moon sextiles Jupiter and gives him a good humoured and happy disposition, with the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures. The opposition to Saturn and semi-square to Pluto is a suitable description of someone destined to be separated from both his homeland and the female-sex, through forces beyond his own control. The exact conjunction to Neptune gives a refined sense of feeling, the ability to sense and feel other people's needs in a caring and sympathetic way and inner vision. Of course, the influence of Saturn will dominate this aspect structure and be the cause of many struggles and sacrifices.

His Mercury is in excellent zodiacal state in Gemini and appropriately in the 9th House. His mind is centred on religious and philosophical matters and is extremely alert and versatile. He is knowledgeable on many subjects, well-read and naturally communicative. The Mercury square Jupiter reinforces this with an ability to gain high quality knowledge under the most conducive circumstances, while maintaining an optimistic and positive outlook.

Venus is into Leo in the 11th indicating he is warm-hearted and capable of arousing affection or admiration easily in others, yet capable of maintaining an impersonal love of humanity. Venus' midpoints include: Venus = Moon/Jupiter,an abundance of feeling, radiating an inner happiness and inner contentment, a happily loving and generous person (COSI); Venus = Moon's Node/Asc.the ability to get along well with others, an affectionate and tactful treatment of other people (COSI); Venus = Moon's Node/Midheaven,loving with the whole heart, seeking an inner and mutual understanding between people (COSI); and Venus = Pluto/Asc. the ability to wield an influence on others by means of an extremely attractive personality (COSI).

Mars is well-placed in the 1st but poorly situated in Libra. This suggests a fighter forced into having to make tough decisions but being unable to and feeling uncomfortable about offending others. Positively, it may be possible for him to organise peaceful resistance, or to find peaceful solutions to aggressive situations, but it is more likely that Martian energies don't sit easy with him. He is a teamworker and this is supported by Mars square Moon's Node which gives the desire to cooperate with others and to work together towards the realisation of shared goals and objectives.

His Mars midpoints provide him with the drive to succeed, to gain importance and recognition (Mars = Sun/Moon's Node); and the capability to perform record achievements and to work under pressure, or to experience the ruthlessness of others (Mars = Sun/Pluto). They also perhaps give us an insight into his celibate lifestyle, Mars = Venus/Saturn, weakened procreative power and renunciation in love (COSI).

Jupiter is in Scorpio and on the Sun/Moon midpoint which seems appropriate for a man of learning, religion and faith.

Saturn's sign position in Pisces and aspect and midpoint structures confirm a life of sacrifice and enforced separation. Combined, they show a sacrificing nature coupled to a willingness to work on behalf of the less fortunate or those who need help, the capacity for deep meditation and spiritual insights (Saturn in Pisces); the capability to serve the greater, to make sacrifices for an ideal, asceticism (Saturn opposing Neptune); the ability to perform the most difficult work with extreme self-discipline, self-denial and renunciation (Saturn sesquisquare Pluto); an enforced separation through forces beyond personal control, fighting against oppression (Saturn = Pluto/Moon's Node) and sudden departure carried out in haste (Saturn = Sun/Uranus).

Of the remaining midpoints and aspects perhaps the most pertinent ones are: Uranus = Jupiter/Plutoa fanatical striving for improvements, the desire to carry out reforms, an appreciation of the need for social or religious regeneration, spiritual and intellectual leadership, the desire to lead the masses (COSI);Neptune semi-square Pluto, an intensified and purified soul-life, inner vision, spiritual awareness, a love of mysticism (COSI); Pluto opposition Moon's Node, contacts with powerful or charismatic people, who may be important with regards to the personal future, the wish to exercise an influence on others or to become a public figure (COSI); Pluto = Jupiter/Asc. the desire to exercise a good influence upon many people, the gaining of recognition (COSI); Pluto = Sun/Uranus, a radical reformer, the desire to rearrange things, sudden physical restrictions [imprisonment] (COSI); Pluto = Jupiter/Midheaven, a successful person with an extraordinary achievement to his credit, a great gain (COSI);Pluto = Moon/Saturn, separation from the wife or mother (COSI);Pluto = Mars/Uranus, exposure to force, violence and the intervention of Higher Power (COSI);Asc. = Neptune/Pluto, surrounding oneself with an air of mysticism (COSI);Midheaven = Neptune/Pluto, an intensified and purified soul-life, high spiritual aspirations, self-knowledge (COSI); Midheaven = Venus/Jupiter, the ability to radiate one's own inner happiness, the demonstration of gladness and a warm heart when meeting others (COSI).

Three Important Events in the Life of the Dalai Lama

a) Enthronement.
The Dalai Lama was enthroned on the 17th of November 1950 in Lhasa, time unknown. This date was picked by astrologers as being the most fortunate time for him to assume leadership of his people. Our Western system of astrology is quite different to that practised in Tibet, yet the Solar Arcs and transits support the significance of this date. The Solar Arcs are Saturn to natal Mercury, Venus conjunct natal Moon, Jupiter to natal Sun and Venus, and Uranus to natal Ascendant. The transits are Neptune exactly conjunct his natal Mars, Jupiter opposing natal Venus, Pluto conjunct the AS/MC midpoint and Uranus at Sun/Asc. (Note also that he was in the Venus/Jupiter sub-period of his Venus Firdaria).

This could sum up as a serious outlook on life with a strong awareness of responsibility; the receiving of a great gift, the sharing in joy and festivities; the gaining of great power; states of excitement and the possibility of a rearranging of the environment, energy directed into spiritual pursuits, but also an undermining of one's position.

b) Fleeing Tibet
He fled Tibet on the 31st of March 1959 under the following Solar Arcs and transits: Solar Arc Neptune conjunct natal Ascendant, Solar Arc Ascendant to natal Neptune and Solar Arc Mercury to natal Mars. These show the confusion of the environment he was in, plus the need for decisions made in haste. By transit, Saturn was squaring his Asc. and opposing his Midheaven, Neptune opposed his natal Uranus, Uranus squared Jupiter and conjoined his Sun/Moon, and the Lunar Eclipse of the 24th of March conjoined his Ascendant (this was followed by the April 8th Solar Eclipse conjoining his Mars). All of these transits point to a rearranging of the environment, great unrest and an uncertainty of the future.

c) Receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1989
By world standards this may be one of the most significant events in the life of the Dalai Lama as it has assisted greatly in focussing attention on China's oppression of Tibet. The Dalai Lama is recognised internationally and travels extensively. On the 9th of December he began the Sun/Jupiter sub-period of his Sun Firdaria. On the 10th of December he received the Nobel Prize as Solar Arc Midheaven conjoined natal Venus, and Solar Arc Jupiter opposed his Midheaven. By transit, Uranus opposed the natal Midheaven and Jupiter was within a couple of degrees of conjoining it. Transiting Pluto conjoined his Jupiter that year, and transiting Saturn opposed his Sun exactly to the day. According to Ebertin, Jupiter/Midheaven gives the attainment of successes, a fine and noble human soul the ability to make good in life. The Uranus transit indicates a change in direction and the ability to advance in one's vocation. The Pluto conjunct Jupiter is the qualities of leadership and the development of power in the mental, spiritual and material spheres. .

A*C*G Map
On his A*C*G map Mercury culminates above Lhasa. Lhasa is where his mind is most focussed on. His education took place here. And remember his Mercury is in excellent zodiacal state in Gemini in the 9th house.

The Chart Almutem
In closing, it is noteworthy that the calculation of his chart Almutem works out as Venus. This is a most fitting planet for a man famous for his message of peace. His Venus is conjunct Regulus, a star which confers the ability to rise to high positions in life, and just for the record his Sun conjoins Sirius, a star regarded as a harbinger of fame and honours.

The Combination of Stellar Influences (COSI), by Reinhold Ebertin
Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of The Dalai Lama of Tibet